Modern men who care about their appearance are trying to figure out where we are in society right now when it comes to beards or no beards.
Despite our clear bias towards beards, we'll break down some factors to help you decide if a beard or no beard is the right choice.
Beards or no beards
All men have a defining characteristic - their face.
You may have been thinking about cars, clothes or physical shape, but you can tell more about a man by their beard than you can by anything else.
So are beards for everyone or just some people? Are beards even "in" right now?
Generally speaking, it depends on how much attention you want to pay to yourself and how much time you're willing to put in each day. Also, it depends on a number of variables we'll outline below.
No matter if you choose a beard or no beard, there's one thing I know for sure: a well groomed beard never goes out of style.
Beards in history
Historically, beards were grown to protect your face from the elements.
The Viking Beard is named after the fierce Norsemen who grew and styled their beards to protect them from the cold and strike fear into the heart of their beardless enemies.
But, beard trends change. These days, beards are worn by everyone from bikers and outdoorsmen to hipsters and hockey players.
Beards have always been in style in some way or another but a cleanly shaven face has always competed for the mighty beard since the history of time.
Historically, as men became more "civilized" bearded men began shaving their beards into mustaches and finally a clean shaven look became the most sought after facial hair style.
Thankfully, this trend has reversed and these days a well groomed, short beard style is just as acceptable as a clean shaven face.
Beards in the office
In most office settings in America, the clean shaven face is the preferred look.
This may be because it feels more professional or that a beard can give off an intimidating vibe. But for whatever reason, this has become the norm in America's workplaces.
Recently, beards have made a comeback.
When looking around your office to decide is beards or no beards are the norm, follow these guidelines:
- Observe the faces of male leaders. Do they have beards?
- Don't show up with stubble - you'll like you had a late night out and forgot to shower.
- If beards are allowed, keep your beard neatly trimmed.
- Also, wash and apply beard oil at least every other day.
- Shave your neck regularly.
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Beards in the military
The US Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps have policies that prohibit beards on the basis of hygiene and safety in case of a chemical weapon attack.
Exceptions are made however, for religious reasons.
Military leaders believe shaved faces and uniform personal appearances help discipline soldiers and build camaraderie.
Fun fact, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) allowed beards until 1986 when it was banned by the Commandant of the USCG, Admiral Paul Yost.
Do women like beards?
A study of women in the US found that bearded men were seen as more attractive by 50% of female participants.
Women like beards because they denote masculinity and virility - two things every woman wants to find in her man.
When it comes to the discussion of beards or no beards and female preference, it is not a one-size fits all argument.
Many women with sensitive skin prefer a clean shaven man because a beard can irritate their skin. Even a soul patch is a no go!
Beards in 2021 - have we hit peak beard?
There is lots of chatter about "peak beard" these days. Personally, I think this is a whole lot of hoopla.
Bearded guys wear their beards with pride for many reasons.
So, as long as men have pride, men will have beards.